Starting with the Seeds

This is my third year of vegetable gardening in Frederick. I don’t have a huge garden. There are two 10′ x 4′ raised beds, two Earth Boxes, a salad table (from the Grow It, Eat It website), and an assortment of containers. Even so, buying plants can get pretty expensive. Plus, it’s hard to wait until the middle of March to start planting seeds outdoors. The first warm day hits, and I’m dying to get out there and start!

So this year I decided to start some seeds indoors. This being me, I wanted to spend as little as possible. Sure, I’ll salivate over the $300 seed starter shelves in the catalog, but I’d never shell out that kind of cash. So, off to Lowe’s we went for some shop lights, S-hooks, and mini plastic green houses. We rigged the lights on some old storage shelves that were gathering dust in the basement and Ta-Daa! instant seed starter shelves. We set them up in the attic playroom and keep them lit about 14 hours a day. So far, law enforcement has shown no interest.

What did I plant? Broccoli rabe, lacinato kale, 3 different leaf lettuces, parris island romaine, arugula, bunching onions, spinach, and italian parsley. All of these are early spring plants. Most will be out of the garden by the end of May, to make way for the warm weather plants like tomatoes and peppers.

I started the “hardening off” process this weekend. Mother Nature has not been kind to my little guys. Friday was beautiful, sunny with highs in the 70’s. Saturday, it was cold rain and then Sunday, back to sun, but with a heavy frost in the morning. Not ideal weather for the little guys, but they’re persevering.

I’m putting them in the ground tomorrow. Tonight is their first night outside in trays. I think they’ll tough it out. They had a good start.